Did Jose Mourinho just troll Liverpool manager target Ruben Amorim?

Jose Mourinho was a surprise guest for Liverpool's 3-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. 

The former Chelsea and Manchester United coach is currently out of work after being dismissed by Roma in January, and is yet to secure another position in the dugout.

Therefore, Liverpool fans were understandably concerned by his presence in west London at the weekend, with the Reds still searching for a successor to Jurgen Klopp this summer.

Although a manager with one of the best CVs in football, prevailing fan sentiment is that they would prefer the club steered clear.

Mourinho’s time in front of the Sky cameras also coincided nicely with the Special One’s tell-all interview with the Telegraph, published on Monday

Mourinho on top coaches

As usual with Mourinho, you might have to read between the lines to see what he really means. 

The Portuguese covered a wide array of topics, from deftly claiming credit for the tactics behind Manchester City’s Champions League victory to stating boldly that Roberto Martinez’s Portugal SHOULD WIN the forthcoming European Championship. Don’t forget, Mourinho declared he was offered that job after the World Cup. 

He even had time to derisively describe Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as “the kid”. 

Every utterance appears benign on the surface with Jose, but has something FAR more impactful lurking beneath. And so it was with the following snippet. 

The interviewer, Sam Wallace, intimated that Mourinho had acknowledged he is NOT on the Liverpool shortlist to replace Klopp. How the 61-year-old conveyed that message, however, is not disclosed. 

But it’s clear that Mourinho is angling for a job, and especially one at a big club. 

Mourinho takes aim at 'smaller leagues'

With links to compatriot Ruben Amorim in abundance, Mourinho took the opportunity to compare his own record by the time he was offered the Chelsea job 20 years ago to other managers working in so-called “smaller leagues” these days. 

Back in 2004, Mourinho had just been crowned a Champions League winner with Porto, opting to cash his chips and move to Stamford Bridge, where he won two consecutive Premier League titles. 

He also tied in Rafael Benitez's pedigree before he moved to Liverpool, emphasising that the Spaniard accrued major success both in one of the toughest leagues in Europe and on the continent by leading Valencia to an unprecedented two La Liga titles, as well as a UEFA Cup. 

He then hit the ground running at Anfield, winning the Champions League in his first season in charge and adding an FA Cup in 2006. 

Trainer Rafael Benitez und Steven Gerrard beide Liverpool präsentieren stolz die Trophäe

“Benitez won the Spanish league with Valencia and the Uefa Cup. And I won the Portuguese league, Uefa Cup and Champions League,” Mourinho said. 

“So to come to England then it was not just enough that you did something nice in a smaller league. Or that your goalkeeper builds from the back with backheels. What you needed to do was something really big to open that door.”

Was it a reference to Liverpool’s chase for Amorim? Was it indeed a dig at former side Manchester United for appointing Eredivisie veteran Erik ten Hag?

If Amorim doesn’t deserve the Liverpool job, who, in the opinion of Jose, does? And likewise for Ten Hag. 

As is usual with Mourinho, we can but wonder who the target for this barb really is. 

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